This is where we have to confess that we’ve cheated a bit here: in our extensive archives we only have five genuine colour images from the time the Middy was operating, and they all date from 1952. However, there are some wonderful websites available which automatically colourise black & white photos, and we’ve used two of them (colourise.sg and algorithmia) to generate the pictures reproduced below.
Not surprisingly, this process has some limitations and doesn’t always give very good results (see the last picture below). But it can be pretty effective, especially when compared to the alternative of manual colouring using a package such as Photoshop, which is very time-consuming and expensive if you pay for an expert to do it. The automatic software is quite effective at colouring human flesh, but obviously has no way of telling (for example) what livery should be applied to a locomotive.
The most successful results are those where the colouring is quite subtle. You really only notice how effective it is when you compare to the original black & white image, as in the first pair of pictures below, where I think the colourising process has really brought the picture to life.
Click on any of the pictures below to view the full image.